This week I was delighted to be elected as the unpaid Chair of the new ‘Community Partnership’ for the Goole, Howdenshire, Snaith, Airmyn, Rawcliffe and Marshland area. Representatives from all the Town and Parish Councils, and those from the partner organisations including the Police, Fire Service, Health and the Voluntary Sector) were entitled to vote.
Many will recall I was the first Chair of the Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team (LAT), which was the first LAT in the East Riding, and widely acknowledged as being one of the most effective. I was very proud of what the public service partners and the voluntary sector achieved by working together during my tenure as Chairman, but we were just getting started, and there is so much still to do.
The Community Partnership is a continuation of the previous Local Action Team (LAT), but also brings together under the same umbrella the previous Police and Partners Community Forums and the 3 Neighbourhood Action Teams which operated in the area. The Partnership’s role will be in local problem-solving, addressing issues of concern to local communities, as well as crime reduction and liaison between the police and the public.
The Community Partnerships will fulfil this function by :
1) Focussing on local problem-solving and adopting a multi-agency approach to solve local problems in their communities.
2) Providing a first point-of-contact for town and parish councils, and partners, for the full range of issues relating to the local area and providing the necessary linkages with partner services relevant to issues within that locality.
3) Providing ‘triage’ or ‘initial signposting’ to the appropriate partner service provider for requests for service or complaints and retaining those which are appropriate for consideration by the Community Partnership where multi-agency involvement is required. Other issues will be referred directly to Ward Members or partner services.
4) Representing and engaging with local communities while communicating LSP priorities, and developing objectives and priorities tuned to their localities.
5) Acting as an enabler linking local communities with LSP action groups and partners.
6) Working in partnership with the Police to identify crime and safety concerns and agreeing local priorities and contribute towards a reduction in recorded crime and anti-social behaviour.
7) Using a problem-solving approach to crime reduction by developing positive activities and projects that improve the local community, act as deterrents or diversionary activities to potential offenders.
8) Improving engagement and relationships with town and parish councils, engendering a local flavour and the opportunity for the greater development of local relationships and special local knowledge.
9) Working with town and parish councils to support bids for the pilot Parish Grant scheme, and carry out initial vetting and administration of the allocation of funds.
10) Taking the lead in engagement events in their localities and undertaking other public consultation as requested by the LSP Board or Council to increase local participation for a range of issues involving partners to benefit the local community by improving their quality of life and well-being, or where the LSP Board wish to use the opportunity to visit local communities.
11) Supporting parish plans, community profiles and contributing to cluster parish outcomes that are best achieved at a multi-parish level.
12) Providing a platform through which local people can have a voice on decisions which affect them and help resolve local community problems.
13) Involving communities in the planning, development, delivery and quality of local public services.
I believe in allowing town and parish councils and community groups to have more say in things that happen locally, have more powers to deliver services if they wish, and have more input on how money is spent in their villages.
To take forward the Community Partnership will require a great deal of innovation and forward thinking. I feel the members of the team have the skills, drive and enthusiasm to make it work well, and I relish the chance to once again lead the group of public sector and voluntary sector partners, to consolidate what we already have – and to work closely with the town and parish councils, and community groups to build something very good for our area.
So lots of work to do with no payment whatsoever!